Crime

Rock Hill mother left child, 5, home alone for hours, police say

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A Rock Hill mother was arrested Sunday for leaving her 5-year-old daughter home alone for hours before neighbors found the child outside, police said.

Allison Deanna Ortiz, 27, was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, Rock Hill Police Department Capt. Mark Bollinger said.

Officers were called at 6 p.m. Sunday to Riverwood Court after neighbors found the 5-year-old outside alone, a police report said. Neighbors reported seeing the child playing, then crying, outside the home. Adults stayed with the child until police arrived, the report stated.

Oritz was found at work. She told an officer she left the child home alone when leaving for work that morning.

The child was released to a family member, Bollinger said.

The unlawful neglect charge is a felony under South Carolina law and carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison if convicted. The law described unlawful conduct as placing the child at “unreasonable risk of harm affecting the child’s life, physical or mental health, or safety.”

Bond for Ortiz was set at $8,000, Bollinger said.

But Ortiz is still being detained because the York County Sheriff’s Office has a warrant for her arrest for another charge. Online court records show Ortiz has a failure to appear in court warrant on a charge of habitual traffic offender issued in February.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.
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